1 Samuel 2:9

1 Samuel 2:9. (SHILOH.)
He will keep the feet of his saints. Who are his saints?

1. The term is sometimes used as one of reproach, by persons who are destitute of religious life, concerning those who bear the Christian name. Pointing to the inconsistency of some of the latter, they would thereby fain persuade themselves and others that there is no such thing as true godliness to be found in the world. There are, doubtless, many who "profess to know God, but in works deny him." But there would be no counterfeit money unless there were some genuine coin

2. The word is also used to designate those who have been "canonised;" and who, having gone into heaven, are supposed to have influence with God in the granting of petitions presented on earth. But such a use of it is unscriptural, and the doctrine is false and injurious.

3. The saints of God are those who have been accepted by him through faith in Christ, who do his will and walk in the way to heaven. Their way, indeed, is often difficult and painful, like the uneven, intricate, and stony paths of Palestine, and beset by numerous dangers. But, for their consolation and encouragement, it is promised that "he that keepeth Israel" will "keep their feet" firm and safe, so that they may not fall and perish. The promise is directly of preservation from temporal calamity, but it may be regarded as including also preservation from spiritual failure and destruction. Consider -


1. From wandering out of the way. Obscurity may gather over it. Other ways may appear plainer, easier, and more pleasant, and tempt them to leave it. Or they may seem more direct and shorter than the circuitous and wearisome path they have to pursue. But kept by him they will not go astray.

2. From stumbling in the way. "It must needs be that offences (or occasions of stumbling) come." Some of them consist of

(1) The difficulties of Divine revelation: "things hard to be understood."

(2) The mysteries of Divine providence, which have led many to say, "As for me," etc. (Psalm 73:2).

(3) Direct solicitations to evil.

(4) "Afflictions and persecutions that arise for the word, whereby many are offended." But "great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing shall cause them to stumble" (Psalm 119:165)

3. From failing to reach the end of the way. Some start with bright hopes which are not afterwards altogether fulfilled in their experience: storms gather, enemies threaten, severe conflict must be waged; and they become weary and desponding, and ready to halt. "But the righteous shall hold on his way" (Job 17:19; Isaiah 40:31).


1. Providing means of help for them: the word, which is an instrument of guidance, refreshment, and defence; prayer; the fellowship of those who are travelling in the same way; the ministration of angels (Psalm 91:11; Hebrews 1:14).

2. Watching over them at every step. They are not alone; but he is with them; and they are kept by the power of God" (1 Peter 1:5).

3. Imparting grace and strength to them according to their need. "As thy day," etc. It matters not how great the need if "the supply of the Spirit" (Philippians 1:19) be equal to it. And, "My grace," he says, "is sufficient for thee."


1. He has a special interest in them, for they are "his saints," "the portion of his inheritance."

2. He has already done much for them, which is an earnest of continued preservation.

3. He has high purposes to accomplish in them and through them. And,

4. He has solemnly promised "never to leave them" (Hebrews 13:5), and "he is faithful that promised (Hebrews 10:23).

1. Rely upon the promise.

2. Presume not upon your security, nor think that without fulfilling his commandments you can receive his promises.

3. Use the appointed means of grace with all diligence. - D.

He will keep the feet of His saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.

1. The title, saints, although used by a profane world as a term of contempt, is of all names the most honourable. It literally signifies the Holy Ones. And must not that be indeed an honourable title which associates the servant of God with his Maker, "whose name is Holy?" with his Redeemer, "the Holy One of Israel?" and with "the Holy Ghost?" — not to mention those holy angels, who veil their faces before his throne.

2. The security of all such is here declared: "He will keep the feet of his saints."(1) It is a security from outward distress. Like the three children, they may enter the fiery furnace: but the Son of God will be with them in the fire.(2) It is a security from spiritual evil, which forms their greatest privilege.

II. THE CERTAIN RULE OF THE WICKED. They "shall be silent in darkness."

1. The persona here intended are manifestly all such as do not come under the former description of "saints."

2. Awful portion! "They shalt be silent!" Here on earth, the wicked have a great deal to say for themselves, but in the world to come all their present high language will be mute as death. Moreover, they shall be silent "in darkness." And what is darkness? It is the absence of light — of comfort, — of hope — of all possibility of deliverance.

(J. Jowett, M. A.)

Alpine guides often blindfold the traveller who seeks to ascend to those awful heights where dwell eternal frost and ice. When the danger is past the bandage is removed, and the traveller sees for the first time the slippery path along which he has been led. In like manner our Heavenly Father mercifully conceals the future, with its trials and dangers, till we are safely past. All that He hides is hidden in mercy; and all that He reveals is revealed in love. I would not know all, my Father. It is known to Thee, and that is enough. "We walk by faith, and not by sight."

(C. Perren.)

I. THE STATE AND CONDITION OF THE PERSONS consisting of two branches. "He will keep the feet of His saints." And first of all to consider it in spirituals, ye shall see God's custody of His people in protecting them from those sins and temptations, and snares which they are subject unto. (Psalm 121:7.) (2 Timothy 4:18.) (Psalm 87:28.) For the opening of this a little unto us we may take it in these explications. First, by the prevention of evil and sinful occasion, God keeps the feet of His people. Secondly, by preventing of the occasions of sin, so by fortifying and strengthening the heart and mind against closing with them. (Luke 22:32.) (2 Corinthians 12:9.) There are four graces amongst the rest, which are especially conducing hereunto. First of all, the grace of fear, and spiritual watchfulness. Blessed is the man that feareth always. Secondly, the grace of faith, that's another supporter likewise. Faith lays hold upon all the promises of assistance, and strengthening. (1 Peter 1:5.) Thirdly, God keeps the feet of His saints from progress and proceedings in sin, when they fall. Thus (Psalm 94:18). Lastly, He keeps the feet of His saints from relapse, and returning to sin again. Now to make this point pertinent indeed to ourselves, we must have a care of two things. The first is the qualification of our persons. Observe here whose feet it is that He here keeps. They must be saints whose feet God will keep. Saints, and His saints too, saints of His making, and saints of His calling, and saints of His owning. Secondly, it is not enough for us to be right for our persons in the general qualifications of them; but we must be right likewise for our carriage and the behaviour of ourselves. Those which are the saints of God may sometimes by their own wilful heedlessness provoke God for a time at least to suspend this safeguard of them. But so much of the first reference of these words, as they may be taken spiritually, and in relation to the inward man. Now further, secondly, we may likewise take them in reference to temporals, and God's Providence as to the things of this life. First, He will bless them in their ways. Take notice of that. This is one way to keep their feet. (Psalm 121:8.) Again, further, He names the feet, as those which are most exposed to danger, and hurt of all other. Secondly, in regard of their works, whatsoever they do. This is said of a godly man. (Psalm 1:3.) (Genesis 39:8.)

II. The second is THE STATE OF THE WICKED IN THESE. But the wicked shall be silent in darkness. As there's a difference betwixt the wicked and the godly in regard of their disposition, so is there likewise in regard of their condition. First, a state of darkness. First, for this life present as the way. Wicked men they are here in darkness. First, in the ignorance of their minds. (Ephesians 4:18.) Secondly, in the inordinancy of their affections, there's darkness in them from thence also. (1 John 2:11.) Malice shades the mind, and so any other unruly passion in them. Thirdly, in the practice of all other sins whatsoever, besides works of wickedness, are works of darkness, and so they are still called. The unfruitful works of darkness. (Ephesians 5:11.) Lastly, in that spiritual blindness which they are given up to. The second is the darkness of the end. That darkness which they are subject unto in another world. This is of two sorts, either the darkness of death, or judgment. The second is the state of silence, in order to this darkness. "They shall be silent in darkness." First, that grief, and horror, and perplexity of mind, which shall seize upon them in this condition. Silence is an attendant upon grief and atonement in the extremities of it. Secondly, silence is a note of conviction. They shall be silent, that is, they shall have nothing to say for themselves. Wicked men, as they shall be full of grief, so likewise of confusion. Thirdly, it is a note of abode and of continuance in this miserable condition. They shall be kept and bound up in it. Now (to join them both together) they are such as do very fitly agree to such kind of persons. Both darkness and also silence in it are very suitable to wicked men. First, the darkness of condition answerable to the darkness of sin. Wicked men they abhor the light, because their deeds are evil. Secondly, silence in evil, answerable to silence from good: Wicked men they care not to speak anything which may be to the honour of God. We begin with the first, viz., as it refers to the first clause. "He shall keep the feet of His saints," that is, by taking it exclusively, He and He alone. We'll reduce it briefly to three heads. First, the strength of body and human power with the appurtenances thereof. Secondly, the strength of parts and the improvements of wit and understanding, the strength of grace in the mere purpose of it. Therefore, let none trust to this, whosoever they be. Secondly, not by strength against Him, in reference especially to the second clause. The wicked shall be silent in darkness. Ungodly men shall not escape punishment, because they cannot be too strong for God, who is a God of power and might. First, thankfulness and acknowledgment of the great mercy and goodness of God to us in this particular. Secondly, as to matter of faith, we are to improve it to that likewise, having had experience of God's goodness hitherto, to be ready to expect as much from Him for time to come. Thirdly, and specially, to fruitfulness and obedience. God having done so great things for us, we should endeavour to do somewhat for him. Now further, secondly, for the wicked's silence in darkness, in the disappointment of his enemies, we may observe the parallel in this also. Here was both darkness and silence in darkness. Darkness there was in the very letter. It was a work in the dark. And that both as to place, and time, in which it was wrought.

(T. Herren, D. D.)

Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.

1. The word saint signifies a holy one.

2. Saints are on a journey through this world of sin and sorrow to a better country. (Hebrews 11:14-16.)

3. The Lord Himself keeps their feet. He guides and directs them by His counsel. (Psalm 73:24.)


1. The wicked are without God in the world. (Ephesians 2:12.)

2. These are noisy and clamorous, boasting of themselves, and prone to speak evil of God and religion; but the time is at hand when they shall be put to silence. (Psalm 31:17.)

3. Darkness shall encompass them about on every side. They are sometimes brought into darkness in the present world, by the judgments of God. (Isaiah 8:22.)

III. FOR BY STRENGTH NO MAN SHALL PREVAIL. Wicked men fight against God, and truth, but they cannot prevail.

(Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)

Eli, Elkanah, Hannah, Hophni, Israelites, Pharaoh, Phinehas, Samuel
Egypt, Ramah, Shiloh
Cut, Dark, Darkness, Evil-doers, Faithful, Godly, Guard, Holy, Keepeth, Keeps, Mighty, Ones, Overcome, Power, Prevail, Prevails, Saints, Silence, Silenced, Silent, Strength, Wicked
1. Hannah's song in thankfulness
12. The sin of Eli's sons
18. Samuel's ministry
20. by Eli's blessing Hannah is more fruitful
22. Eli reproves his sons
27. A prophecy against Eli's house

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Samuel 2:9

     5151   feet
     5292   defence, divine
     5330   guard
     5480   protection
     5950   silence
     7021   church, OT anticipations
     7155   saints
     9110   after-life

1 Samuel 2:1-10

     5849   exaltation
     8352   thankfulness

1 Samuel 2:6-9

     4019   life, believers' experience
     6703   peace, divine OT

1 Samuel 2:8-9

     1330   God, the provider

1 Samuel 2:9-10

     4812   darkness, God's judgment

The Child Prophet
'And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision. 2. And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; 8. And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; 4. That the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. 5. And he ran onto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Reverence in Worship.
"Samuel ministered before the Lord, being a child, girded with a linen ephod."--1 Samuel ii. 18. Samuel, viewed in his place in sacred history, that is, in the course of events which connect Moses with Christ, appears as a great ruler and teacher of his people; this is his prominent character. He was the first of the prophets; yet, when we read the sacred narrative itself, in which his life is set before us, I suppose those passages are the more striking and impressive which represent him, in
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VIII

The Knowledge of God
'The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.' I Sam 2:2. Glorious things are spoken of God; he transcends our thoughts, and the praises of angels. God's glory lies chiefly in his attributes, which are the several beams by which the divine nature shines forth. Among other of his orient excellencies, this is not the least, The Lord is a God of knowledge; or as the Hebrew word is, A God of knowledges.' Through the bright mirror of his own essence, he has a full idea and cognisance
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Though the Fore-Mentioned Eternal Moral Obligations
are incumbent indeed on all rational creatures, antecedent to any respect of particular reward or punishment, yet they must certainly and necessarily be attended with rewards and punishments: Because the same reasons, which prove God himself to be necessarily just and good, and the rules of justice, equity, and goodness, to be his unalterable will, law, and command, to all created beings; prove also that he cannot but be pleased with and approve such creatures as imitate and obey him by observing
Samuel Clarke—A Discourse Concerning the Being and Attributes of God

Letter xxix. To Marcella.
An explanation of the Hebrew words Ephod bad (1 Sam. ii. 18) and Teraphim (Judges xvii. 5). Written at Rome to Marcella, also at Rome a.d. 384.
St. Jerome—The Principal Works of St. Jerome

A Private Enquiry
"What is the thing that the Lord hath said unto thee?"--1 Samuel 3:17. THE Lord would not speak directly to Eli, although he was the High Priest. In ordinary circumstances it would have been so; but Eli had grieved the Lord, and thus had lost his honorable standing. God had not cast him off; but he viewed him with such displeasure that he would only speak to him through another person: even as great kings, if they are offended with their courtiers, send them messages by other hands. The Lord sent,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

Appendix xix. On Eternal Punishment, According to the Rabbis and the New Testament
THE Parables of the Ten Virgins' and of the Unfaithful Servant' close with a Discourse on the Last Things,' the final Judgment, and the fate of those Christ's Righ Hand and at His Left (St. Matt. xxv. 31-46). This final Judgment by our Lord forms a fundamental article in the Creed of the Church. It is the Christ Who comes, accompanied by the Angelic Host, and sits down on the throne of His Glory, when all nations are gathered before Him. Then the final separation is made, and joy or sorrow awarded
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Covenanting a Privilege of Believers.
Whatever attainment is made by any as distinguished from the wicked, or whatever gracious benefit is enjoyed, is a spiritual privilege. Adoption into the family of God is of this character. "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power (margin, or, the right; or, privilege) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."[617] And every co-ordinate benefit is essentially so likewise. The evidence besides, that Covenanting
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

The Mystery
Of the Woman dwelling in the Wilderness. The woman delivered of a child, when the dragon was overcome, from thenceforth dwelt in the wilderness, by which is figured the state of the Church, liberated from Pagan tyranny, to the time of the seventh trumpet, and the second Advent of Christ, by the type, not of a latent, invisible, but, as it were, an intermediate condition, like that of the lsraelitish Church journeying in the wilderness, from its departure from Egypt, to its entrance into the land
Joseph Mede—A Key to the Apocalypse

Sixth Day. Holiness and Glory.
Who is like unto Thee, O Lord! among the gods? Who is like unto Thee, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders? Thou in Thy mercy hast led Thy people which Thou hast redeemed: Thou hast guided them in Thy strength to the habitation of Thy holiness ... The holy place, O Lord, which Thy hands have established.' --Ex. xv. 11-17. In these words we have another step in advance in the revelation of Holiness. We have here for the first time Holiness predicated of God Himself. He
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

VI. Objections answered. I will consider those passages of scripture which are by some supposed to contradict the doctrine we have been considering. 1 Kings viii. 46: "If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near," etc. On this passage, I remark:-- 1. That this sentiment in nearly the same language, is repeated in 2 Chron. vi. 26, and in Eccl.
Charles Grandison Finney—Systematic Theology

Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity the Christian Calling and Unity.
Text: Ephesians 4, 1-6. 1 I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called, 2 with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

The Sun Rising Upon a Dark World
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon then hath the light shined. C ontrasts are suited to illustrate and strengthen the impression of each other. The happiness of those, who by faith in MESSIAH, are brought into a state of peace, liberty, and comfort, is greatly enhanced and heightened by the consideration of that previous state of misery in which they once lived, and of the greater misery to which they were justly exposed.
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1

Entire Sanctification
By Dr. Adam Clarke The word "sanctify" has two meanings. 1. It signifies to consecrate, to separate from earth and common use, and to devote or dedicate to God and his service. 2. It signifies to make holy or pure. Many talk much, and indeed well, of what Christ has done for us: but how little is spoken of what he is to do in us! and yet all that he has done for us is in reference to what he is to do in us. He was incarnated, suffered, died, and rose again from the dead; ascended to heaven, and there
Adam Clarke—Entire Sanctification

The Holiness of God
The next attribute is God's holiness. Exod 15:51. Glorious in holiness.' Holiness is the most sparkling jewel of his crown; it is the name by which God is known. Psa 111:1. Holy and reverend is his name.' He is the holy One.' Job 6:60. Seraphims cry, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.' Isa 6:6. His power makes him mighty, his holiness makes him glorious. God's holiness consists in his perfect love of righteousness, and abhorrence of evil. Of purer eyes than
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Mothers, Daughters, and Wives in Israel
In order accurately to understand the position of woman in Israel, it is only necessary carefully to peruse the New Testament. The picture of social life there presented gives a full view of the place which she held in private and in public life. Here we do not find that separation, so common among Orientals at all times, but a woman mingles freely with others both at home and abroad. So far from suffering under social inferiority, she takes influential and often leading part in all movements, specially
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

Tiglath-Pileser iii. And the Organisation of the Assyrian Empire from 745 to 722 B. C.
TIGLATH-PILESER III. AND THE ORGANISATION OF THE ASSYRIAN EMPIRE FROM 745 to 722 B.C. FAILURE OF URARTU AND RE-CONQUEST Of SYRIA--EGYPT AGAIN UNITED UNDER ETHIOPIAN AUSPICES--PIONKHI--THE DOWNFALL OF DAMASCUS, OF BABYLON, AND OF ISRAEL. Assyria and its neighbours at the accession of Tiglath-pileser III.: progress of the Aramaeans in the basin of the Middle Tigris--Urartu and its expansion into the north of Syria--Damascus and Israel--Vengeance of Israel on Damascus--Jeroboam II.--Civilisation
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 7

Alike from the literary and the historical point of view, the book[1] of Samuel stands midway between the book of Judges and the book of Kings. As we have already seen, the Deuteronomic book of Judges in all probability ran into Samuel and ended in ch. xii.; while the story of David, begun in Samuel, embraces the first two chapters of the first book of Kings. The book of Samuel is not very happily named, as much of it is devoted to Saul and the greater part to David; yet it is not altogether inappropriate,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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